“News of more restrictions from Boxing Day is yet another blow for many in the tourism and hospitality industries who have shown such resilience and adaptability during the last nine months.

“Like many of our partner businesses, Visit Belfast now has to process the implications of this next six-week lockdown on our operations, including closing the doors of the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre for the third time this year.  However, we must recognise the perilous position of our Health Service and do all that is necessary to protect our NHS and lives.

“With widespread vaccination and the hope of a return to some sort of normality on the horizon in 2021, we can look forward with cautious optimism to the light at the end of this tunnel and the rebuilding of our tourism economy.

“In the meantime, Visit Belfast will continue to support our industry partners by keeping the Belfast brand alive in the minds of our key audiences and future visitors. We know there is pent up demand for travel and we are confident that city tourism has a key part to play in any economic recovery. We are gearing up for 2021-22 and Visit Belfast will be ready with robust plans to re-engage with our audiences and motivate visits as soon as it is safe and right to do so.”

– Visit Belfast Chief Executive Gerry Lennon